Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 26, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Reign of Fire

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
102 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/12/02
performer
Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler, Izabella Scorupco
director
Rob Bowman
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Gregg Chabot, Matt Greenberg, Kevin Peterka
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, ActionAdventure

We gave it a B

If you see just one crap-tacular summer movie about an earth ruled (a mere 18 years in the future) by fireball-breathing dragons, then rescued by a Patton-like warrior and his wary British ally, it should be Reign of Fire. Actually, the season could do with more grinning, unself-important, happy-to-be-B throwback movies like this one.

Made by veteran X-Files director Rob Bowman, Reign is a rip-roaring, videogame-busy, Mad Maximum entertainment in which Matthew ”Offense!” McConaughey, as the bonkers Yank leader (shaved head, bulging biceps, tattoos, and biker beard straight out of Oz), rolls into the British fortress headed by Christian ”Defense!” Bale (whose sensitivity is as shaggy as his haircut), and the two joust for leadership. Polish model-actress Izabella Scorupco plays all women rolled into one blond pilot with desirable lips. The CGI stuff is strictly average, but Aliens cinematographer Adrian Biddle knows how to photograph a rotting planet, and the story is enlivened by a throwaway good humor rare as dragon’s eggs.

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